Does anyone remember Take Home Chef that ran from 2006 to 2007? Well I sure do. Back then TLC (The Learning Channel) was one of my favourite TV stations and as an early riser (we’re talking between 5 and 6 am every morning) I would wake up and turn on the TV as I started my day making breakfast and such. Take Home Chef was a show that I tuned into every morning for an hour and introduced me to Curtis Stone and his style of cooking. I loved the idea of someone just going about their day shopping for groceries and her comes a chef offering his services to help the person make dinner for their partner or guest with an out of this world dinner. The one thing I always remember is how charming Curtis was and still is today and that while the meals were made with easy to find ingredients; it was still a very classy elegant meal. I have most recently seen Curtis hosting shows like Top Chef Duels and Kitchen Inferno which made me check to see what he was up to now cook book wise. I picked up his new cookbook Good Food Good Life and started testing recipes to find out that he was making a trek to Toronto and I of course then have to be at this event. When Curtis arrived he briefly talked about the book and said that his life is very busy and even more so now that he is married with two kids so this cookbook is perfect for those people always on the go. A quick anecdote he mentioned which made us all chuckle was that his eldest son Hudson just loves to be in the kitchen cooking with daddy and he loves to be barefoot and on top of the counter. He quipped that it wouldn’t pass any health codes, but in his home kitchen it would always get a pass; to which we all laughed and laughed.
I got my Relaxed Cooking along with Good Food Good Life signed as I always bring my back catalogue just incase the author decides to sign, which he did for this event. When I got up he shook my hand and we took a picture. I mentioned that I had already made the Mint Chip Gelato (post to come soon) and he said “amazing! By hand” I said yes I steeped the fresh mint leaves and everything to which I got a high five; which I thought was pretty cool. I asked which was his favourite recipe and the Chocolate Salted Caramel Kisses are his favourite, so I will be trying to make these also. I mentioned I would be making the Blackberry Cocktail when I get home and enjoying his book some more.
This cookbookworm had a fun time chatting with other ladies in line and seeing how far some of them came just to have a 2 minute encounter with Curtis. I will say Curtis is definitely on the top of my most friendly, charming and modest chefs to date. It also helps that I am a sucker for a tall man and an accent.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy
From Good Food Goof Life
• 3 cups of ice
• 1/3 cup fresh blackberries
• 2 tsp sugar, or to taste
• 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
• ¼ cup silver rum
• 1 tbsp St-Germain, elderflower liquor
• ¼ cup club soda
1. Using a food processor, grind the ice to a finely crush and fluffy consistency, like shaved ice.
2. Place blackberries, sugar, lime juice in a rocks glass and muddle.
3. Stir in the rum, St-Germain and ½ cup of crushed ice.
4. Pack more ice into the glass, mounding it well above the rim.
5. Pour the club soda over and serve immediately.
What a tasty, refreshing adult beverage. I have never been a fan of club soda and unflavoured carbonated water but this added a fizziness to the drink I liked. When I got to the bottom it was a little bit sweeter; which I appreciated as sometimes I like an extra bit of sugar. I didn’t crush my ice because well I am a little lazy of that front, but it still tasted wonderful to me sans crushed ice.